Fraud Management & Cybercrime , Fraud Risk Management

Sift Snags Former Ping Identity COO Kris Nagel as New Leader

Kris Nagel Wants to Drive More Account Takeover, Bot Detection Engagements at Sift
Sift Snags Former Ping Identity COO Kris Nagel as New Leader
Kris Nagel, CEO, Sift (Image: Sift)

Sift has landed top Ping Identity lieutenant Kris Nagel as its new CEO and tasked him with driving more account takeover and bot detection engagements.

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The San Francisco-based digital trust and safety vendor has directed Nagel to build out more technology partnerships in the fraud community and grow Sift's business in emerging fields such as account takeover and bot detection. Nagel started as CEO in December - his appointment was announced Thursday, and he replaces Jason Tan, who had led Sift since its inception in 2011 and continues to be executive chairman.

"I view the opportunity as a massive expanding market," Nagel tells Information Security Media Group. "Fraud is everywhere. Every online business has got some level of fraud problem that they have to deal with."

Nagel spent nearly four years as COO at Ping Identity, where he oversaw all market-facing functions including R&D, product management, marketing, sales, customer success, professional services and technical support. Prior to that, he served as CEO of subscription management company Vindicia for more than two years (see: CEO Durand on What Thoma Bravo's Buy Means for Ping Identity).

'Built on the Back of Great Technology'

Sift has offerings in both account takeover and bot detection today, and Nagel wants to extend those by leveraging data network and machine learning capabilities to more rapidly address concerns customers have around fraud. Nagel also wants to make Sift a more integrated part of customers' technology ecosystem by connecting easily to additional third-party orchestration, identity and fraud products.

Partnerships historically haven't been as much of a focus in the fraud market as in identity due to the relative newness of the space and a lack of industry standards. Nagel wants to work in the coming years to determine the most appropriate integration points for Sift, deciding where within the fraud market Sift wants its technology to take the lead and where it will focus more on integrating with third-party tools.

"Sift's success has been built on the back of great technology and first-mover advantage," Nagel says. "I want to make sure that we extend that well into the future. I want to understand the technology, understand where the investments are, and then how we extend that into the market."

Sift currently excels at creating if-then process flows around how fraud is managed and handled and avoids looking at particular events on a discrete basis rather than as part of a broader process. Nagel plans to accelerate the experience for Sift's customers by making the platform an integrated part of the technology ecosystem to maximize security and protection while minimizing the need for manual tasks.

'Something I've Done Multiple Times'

Nagel also wishes to diversify Sift's customer footprint beyond financial services, which accounts for 20% to 25% of the company's business today. This could include building on existing strength in fields such as omnichannel retail, digital good and services, e-commerce, and travel and hospitality. Sift's technology is well suited to Global 3000 or 4000 organizations that are undertaking digital transformation initiatives.

"The size that Sift is today suits me very well, and the run from where we are to five times where we are is something I've done multiple times," Nagel says. "I feel like I'm well suited to address where we're heading."

Nagel plans to closely monitor a variety of financial metrics - including annual recurring revenue, net recurring revenue, cash flow, net expansion and customer churn - to ensure Sift is running a disciplined, financially sound business. Nagel also intends to track customer satisfaction and net promoter scores to understand where users are getting the most value from Sift's technology.

Sift currently employs more than 300 people, and Nagel says the company has capitalized on layoffs across the technology industry to bring some phenomenal people into Sift. The company has raised $156.5 million in eight rounds of outside funding, and in April 2021 it was valued at more than $1 billion following a $50 million Series E funding round.

"Digital trust and safety and fraud should be a part of CISOs' consideration around their overall security posture," Nagel says. "They should be thinking about fraud and identity as important partners in addressing both their growth needs as well as their security and risk needs."

About the Author

Michael Novinson

Michael Novinson

Managing Editor, Business, ISMG

Novinson is responsible for covering the vendor and technology landscape. Prior to joining ISMG, he spent four and a half years covering all the major cybersecurity vendors at CRN, with a focus on their programs and offerings for IT service providers. He was recognized for his breaking news coverage of the August 2019 coordinated ransomware attack against local governments in Texas as well as for his continued reporting around the SolarWinds hack in late 2020 and early 2021.

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